At least in Washington DC. Pot was legalized 13 months ago and violent crime, when measured by the number of homicides, has risen steadily risen since. The following chart shows it:
It could be that legal pot has nothing to do with this. Perhaps it is the famous post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy to blame the increase in violent crime on pot legalization. But it’s proven that pot smoking dramatically increases after it is legalized. This is easy to understand. Legalization tells people who weren’t using before that it’s OK now. Many of them take that as their que to toke up.
So more people are smoking pot. How does that equal more crime? Because more mood altering drugs lower inhibitions in people with a previous tendency to violence which they have previously kept in check. Alcohol does the same in some people but since alcohol has been a part of human culture for as long as civilization has existed it’s too much of a permanent fixute to get rid of it. That has already been tried with disastrous results. Besides, humans have learned how to use alcohol in constructive ways by using it in moderation. The only purpose of smoking a joint is to get stoned.
Government has tremendous power to enable people to do things they would not otherwise do. For one of the most stark examples of this in human history read the story of how one-half of the population of Jedwabne, Poland rose up on July 10, 1941 and murderd the other half.
Hannah Arendt coined the term The Banality of Evil by making it the subtitle of her 1963 book on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt contended, rightly I think, that the unspeakable acts of history are carried out by ordinary people who have accepted the premise of their government so they come to believe the repulsive things they do are normal. The murderous actions of those who carried out the holocaust in 1930’s Germany were not madmen. They were ordinary. In the rest of their lives they were not sensational criminals or sociopaths; they were merely vapid, dull, uninteresting. They were banal. Their actions were evil but also sanctioned by the state, so they came to believe it was all just the way things are done.
So what’s happening in the two states that have recently legalized pot? Here are a few things to chew on:
Homicides up so far this year (2015) in Denver after decrease in 2014 (Pot legalized in 2013).
Legalized pot supporters predicted a decrease in voilent crime after pot legalization. You can easily find news accounts claiming that very thing is what happened. I didn’t give links to those stories here for two reasons: First, they are numerous and easy to find with a Google search. Second, I don’t believe them. They are for the most part puff pieces to celebrate victory over the stalwart fuddy-duddy blockheads who are opposed to the pot culture, whether legal or illegal. They rely on questionable or manipulated statistics to vindicate earlier predicitons that more pot smoking means less crime. Because when you’re stoned you really can’t do much of anything?
But it would be remiss to fail to recognize that the radical Left’s war on the police is also having a dramatic effect on certain people’s behavior, as well as making cops less vigilant in stopping crimes before they happen. It’s all leading to more violent crime. An explosion in the pot culture is part of it.
The ultimate goal of pot legalization is to eventually legalize all illicit drug use. Growing old is not much to look forward to, but not being around for that will be a concellation.